Sunday, June 12, 2011

Receive the Holy Spirit

Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you."
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the holy Spirit." - John 20:21-22
The Holy Spirit. The breath of God.
Ruah. Hebrew word for spirit, or breath. Sounds like a gentle wind when you say it. Ruah.
I have had little understanding of the Holy Spirit for most of my life. After converting to the Catholic Church, I had grown closer to Jesus and the Father. But the Third Person of the Trinity was an unknown to me. I understood in my head who he was. But the personal relationship? Well, I didn't know how to have one.
Then about 15 years ago, when I started going to a charismatic prayer group, I began to have a better understanding of the Holy Spirit. And I saw the gifts. I saw the gifts in others and began to experience them in myself.
I experienced the gentleness of the Spirit. And began to really believe in God's love for me.
The Holy Spirit. The Love between the Father and the Son. The Spirit of Truth that helps me to witness about my childhood of abuse and how God has helped me. The Spirit that helps me to do spiritual direction and other ministries.
The Spirit that speaks to my heart when I take the time to sit in silence and listen.
The gentle breeze.
Dear Lord, thank you for the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Thank you for the Catholic Church. Help me to hear the whisper and feel the gentle breeze of your love for me and for all of us, your children. Amen.



Owner of Homeschool Faith and Family Life Website said...

I am so glad that your journey has led you to a deeper relationship with the Holy Spirit; that you may feel His healing power and reach out to share that with others. This is truly the miracle of God's love. Though the past can not be undone in fact, you are able to live in PEACE and TRUE JOY by receiving and sharing the gifts He wishes to send to you. You're an amazing woman Colleen. I am blessed to know you.

colleen said...

Have you ever read the words of the Holy Spirit to Blessed Angela of Foligno? That was somewhat of a turning point in my understanding personal relationship with the Holy Spirit. I also first learned about the Holy Spirit through Charismatics.

Colleen said...

Judy, thank you. Your kind words mean a lot to me. God is so awesome, isn't He?

Colleen, many people just do not realize what charismatics can teach all of us. No, I have not read Blessed Angela at all. However, I want to now! Thank you!

Karinann said...

"The gentle breeze of Your love..." What beautiful imagery, Colleen~ I could just stay right there in meditation.
Hugs & Blessings!

Colleen said...

Karinann, hugs right back. God bless.

Jean Wise said...

I really like how you describe the Holy Spirit as gentleness. great word!

Mary333 said...

I had little understanding of the Holy Spirit, too, until I went to a charismatic group. I learned so much there and my love for the Holy Spirit grew by leaps and bounds. Thanks for the excellent post. I hope your Pentecost talk went well!

Colleen said...

Jean, I learned that description from my spiritual director! He would always tell me about the "gentle" Holy Spirit. I have never forgotten. I agree, it is a great word.

Mary, thank you! My talk did go very well. Your experience with the Holy Spirit sounds a lot like mine. God bless!

conjecturesguilty said...

I too had a lot of trouble grasping what the Holy Spirit was or how it works I think maturity is important in our understanding the Holy Spirit.

That may be a reason why confirmation should be done with teens and adults rather than children.

Colleen said...

conjecturesguilty, I so agree! Thanks!

kkollwitz said...

I didn't have much awareness of the Holy Spirit until I became a cantor. I started praying before every song, "Holy Spirit don't let me screw up."

I still pray this before anything I do in front of an audience.

Barb Schoeneberger said...

I'm still working on my understanding of the Holy Spirit. St. Teresa of Avila wrote in one of her books about being aware of the indwelling of the Holy Trinity in her souls at all times. What a grace! Maybe I should be praying to her to get a clue because although I pray to the Holy Spirit, my understanding isn't yet in my bones.

Colleen said...

kkollwitz, I do the same thing! I pray to the Holy Spirit to help me before I lector or give a talk. It makes all the difference.

Barb, I felt like that for a long time. It changed pretty much overnight. I pray that you are soon blessed with that understanding in your bones!